[Air-L] Permission to reproduce webpages?

Annette Markham amarkham at gmail.com
Thu Sep 2 18:20:56 PDT 2010

I'm with Gil and I think he's spot on in emphasizing the importance of
understanding 'fair use' as an essential need and right.  I would add that
as a research community we need to not only defend but promote 'fair use'
whenever possible.  The law (U.S.) is deliberately vague in this area
because 'fair use' was always intended to be an ethical assessment/judgment
made by the copyright user rather than a narrowly defined set of
rules/regulations dictated from the top down.  Obviously, the courts will
decide the outcome if the copyright holder brings a claim of infringement,
but fear or uncertainty should not deter us from using materials necessary
for critical analysis (among other things).  It does mean we need to make a
solid argument as to how the use of materials falls within the doctrine of
fair use.

Mark mentioned the ICA's recent release of a "best practices" document.
I'll just mention that it's the latest of several that have been developed
by communities of researchers/practitioners/educators to help their members
understand what 'fair use' might mean and to help make good decisions in
context.  Incidentally, documentary filmmakers experienced a lot of positive
outcomes from developing such a document (see American University's Center
for Social Media site: http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fair-use).

AOIR doesn't have anything like this, so I agree it's worth talking about in
Gothenburg.  Andre, I'd be happy to meet about this with a group of
colleagues.  Maybe we could all watch Lawrence Lessig's presentation (Nov
2009 for Educause) to get geared up for it:   "It's about time: Getting our
values about copyright"  http://blip.tv/file/2827842


On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 4:33 PM, Gilbert B. Rodman
<gbrodman at mindspring.com>wrote:

>  Two quick comments here, both AGAINST the notion that André necessarily
> has to ask for permission to use the images in question.
> First, "fair use" arguably disappears -- in specific cases, if not as a
> whole -- the moment you ask for permission.  At the very least, asking for
> permission potentially prevents you from asserting "fair use" later (which
> you might still want to do if, for example, your request isn't answered in a
> timely fashion), since it demonstrates that you don't believe your quotation
> of the material qualifies as "fair use."
> Second, "fair use" isn't simply some technical quirk in US copyright law
> that allows scholars to get away with what is otherwise morally questionable
> activity.  It is arguably one of the basic rights that enables us -- along
> with journalists, reviewers, critics, and a vast range of other cultural
> commentators -- to do our jobs.  I'm willing to bet that the publisher André
> is dealing with is NOT making him secure permission every time he quotes
> printed texts.  He undoubtedly needs to attribute such quotes properly, and
> there are likely to be restrictions on how much of a source he can quote ...
> but "fair use" is what allows scholars to quote words written by other
> people (and reviewers to quote bits of books, songs, plays, movies, etc.) in
> the ordinary practices of research, criticism, and commentary without having
> to formally granted permission to do so.  Put a different way, "fair use" is
> one of the major things that keeps copyright holders from using charges of
> "infringement" as a backhanded means of controlling public commentary about
> the works in question.
> cheers
> gil
> On 09/01/2010 05:16 PM, Brian Holland wrote:
>> The AP is particularly litigious in this regard.  They have an extensive
>> licensing program and they expect folks to use it.  In fact, the existence
>> of such a program is a major factor against fair use -- i.e., it makes your
>> claim of fair use less likely to succeed.
>> - Brian
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org [mailto:
>> air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of André Brock
>> Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 5:08 PM
>> To: Philippa Smith; air-l at listserv.aoir.org
>> Subject: Re: [Air-L] Permission to reproduce webpages?
>> Thanks, Philippa!  I appreciate the heads up.  Fortunately, the sites we
>> examined (Racialicious, Jezebel, and Essence.com for those keeping score
>> at
>> home) aren't pulling from AP (thank god!).
>> I'll keep y'all posted on my progress and outcome.
>> André
>> On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 4:51 PM, Philippa Smith<philippa.smith at aut.ac.nz
>> >wrote:
>>  Just as an aside and to throw a spanner in the works -  I've had a
>>> situation where we wanted to use a screenshot from an online newspaper
>>> but because the source of the article was  Associated Press we had to
>>> get their permission as well to reproduce the text.  This came at a
>>> financial cost.  It's worth noting whether websites contain material
>>> from other sources that might also need permission.  Unfortunately this
>>> is a can of worms scenario.
>>> Kind regards
>>> Philippa
>>> Philippa Smith
>>> PhD Candidate
>>> Institute of Culture, Discourse&  Communication
>>> AUT University
>>> Auckland
>>>  André Brock<andre.brock at gmail.com>  09/02/10 9:41 AM>>>
>>>>> Thanks to everyone who's answered me so far (Hi, Annette!).  The legal
>>> advice was particularly helpful, and i'm going to follow Ulf-Dietrich's
>>> advice and contact the websites - i have contacts at a couple of them.
>>> Does AoIR have a specific statement on fair use of Internet/ICT
>>> materials
>>> for research in the field?  I know we have an extensive set of materials
>>> on
>>> Ethics... (and no, i'm not volunteering to write it.  i'm just asking)
>>> André
>>> On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 10:22 AM, Andre Brock<andre.brock at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>  For the first time in, well, ever I've been asked by a journal to
>>> obtain
>>>> permission from a website to reproduce a screenshot of a webpage.
>>> Not, to
>>>> be clear, of an image on the page - but of the page itself.   I've
>>> been
>>>> offered the option of removing the image and replacing it with a URL,
>>> but
>>>> from an archival standpoint that's problematic.  Webpages with dynamic
>>>> content change all the time, not to mention that authors sometimes
>>> change
>>>> formats/platforms, modify pages, or remove content that was included
>>> in the
>>>> original analysis.
>>>> I don't want to miss the publishing deadline, but I need to know:
>>> "where
>>>> dey do dat at?!?" (translation: since when did fair use guidelines get
>>> bent
>>>> so badly in academic publishing?)
>>>> André Brock
>>>> Assistant Professor, SLIS/POROI
>>>> University of Iowa
>>> --
>>> Andre Brock
>>> Assistant Professor - Library and Information Science/POROI
>>> University of Iowa
>>> Iowa City, IA 52242
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